By JESSICA BAKEMAN
Ellen DeGeneres had big plans for her one-day trip to the Twin Cities.
“I’m going to go to the statue where Mary Tyler Moore threw her hat,” she told the Star Tribune. “I’m going to try to find the hat.”
She did, in fact, stop at Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday morning to see the statue, and chummed it up with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. Fans packed the sidewalks surrounding Macy’s to hear Rybak declare this week “Ellen DeGeneres Week.”
That was a compromise for the Emmy-winning comedian, who, while at Target Field Monday night, said she wanted to share her opinions about the city.
“It’s doing all right,” she said, “but I have some ideas. Like Ellen Day, but not just tomorrow. Every day should be Ellen Day.”
Ellen DeGeneres (with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak) paid her respects Tuesday to the Mary Tyler Moore statue on the Nicollet Mall.
She also surprised WCCO meteorologist Mike Augustyniak on his weather report this morning, saying she lost the remote in her hotel room so she thought she’d grab his. He laughed as she pressed buttons randomly, changing the green screen behind them.
DeGeneres is in town doing publicity for her new season, which premieres in the Twin Cities on Sept. 12 at 4 p.m., Oprah Winfrey’s old spot.
“Oprah’s been sort of a fixture on daytime TV for 25 years,” she said. “It’s an amazing time slot.”
Her wife, Portia DeGeneres (formerly, Portia de Rossi — known for her roles on “Ally McBeal” and “Arrested Development”), joined her Monday night when they attended the Minnesota Twins' game against the Boston Red Sox. The celeb couple experienced prime hospitality as stadium staff excitedly awaited their arrival, laying out vegan snacks (neither eats animal products) and bottle upon bottle of wine. A posse of managers, make-up artists and photographers followed her from deck to deck of the stadium, where she appeared calm and in-her-element.
She said the short trip was a happy return to Minneapolis, where she performed early in her career as a stand-up comic. She said she appreciated the smarts of local audiences — “they always got the jokes.”
“They were always polite and respectful, too,” she said.